Train Accident Attorneys
We’re no strangers to trains in northern California. Sacramento was once a railroad town. Roseville still plays host to the largest rail facility west of the Mississippi. Waiting in a long line of cars on a hot summer day at the rail crossing comes with the territory.
Unfortunately, so do train accidents. Injuries and deaths caused by the heavy freight trains that roll through the region and the light-rail system that crisscrosses Sacramento County are a staple of local news reports. The story of car or pedestrian versus train or light rail almost always ends the same: the car driver or the pedestrian seriously or fatally injured.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a train, you’re legally entitled to full compensation for your injuries. But the legal complications can be daunting. Railroad companies such as Union Pacific are major corporations with an army of experienced railroad attorneys on staff. Regional Transit, which operates the light rail system, is a government agency with its own rules and regulations.
The train accident attorneys at Demas Law Group know the territory. We can help guide you to the best compensation for your injuries, including your pain and suffering.
How Train and Light Rail Accidents are Different
Freight trains and Amtrak are governed by the Federal Railroad Administration, which lists more than 50 companies currently shipping freight in California. The regulations are strict, and include mandatory drug and alcohol testing of train operators, certification of safety equipment and periodic maintenance of engines and freight cars. The railroad company attorneys know these regulations in-and-out. So do the skilled train accident attorneys at Demas Law Group.
The Regional Transit light rail system falls under several different jurisdictions. It adheres to regulations established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for vehicles that carry large numbers of passengers, which are just as strict as the Federal Railroad Administration’s. Because Regional Transit is a government agency, if you’ve been injured in a light rail accident, you must file a complaint with Regional Transit within six months of your accident in order to later file suit.
Demas Law Group knows the routes when it comes to federal, state and local regulations. Our skilled investigators know how to uncover regulatory violations. We have the resources to take on multiple potentially wealthy defendants. We urge you to contact Demas Law Group as soon as possible if you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a train accident.
Train Accident FAQs
1. What are some common causes of train accidents?
The Federal Railroad Administration reports that there are nearly 1,000 railroad accidents in California every year. Not all of these are injury accidents, and some occur inside rail yards and not on public roadways. Derailments are the leading cause of train accidents, followed by human error, noncompliance of safety standards, equipment failure and track obstructions.
2. Who is responsible if I get hit by a train?
Every train or light rail accident is different, but it’s possible that you may have a claim against any or even all of the following defendants:
- Parties to the train accident. That includes the driver of the train and the drivers of any other vehicles who may have contributed to the accident.
- Train and parts manufacturers and their retailers can be held responsible if a defective product – such as a faulty braking system, a broken engine component or a defective rail – fails and causes an accident.
- There are a myriad of regulatory violations by both railroad companies and public agencies that can be considered negligent. They may have hired an unqualified driver, or failed to drug test an employee, or broken regulations that limit the hours drivers can be on the road.
- The train maintenance firms that perform repair work and regular maintenance can be held liable for injuries, if improper maintenance contributed to the accident.
- The company responsible for maintaining the railway on which the accident occurred, if the railway caused the accident, can also be held liable.
3. When and why should I hire an attorney after a train accident case?
Train accidents can be complicated and aggressively defended cases because of the multiple parties and serious injuries involved. Train accident lawsuits are complex, and it is in your best interest to retain an attorney with experience trying train injury cases as soon as possible after the accident. Experienced train accident lawyers know how to undertake the intense investigation required for such cases. You should consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the train accident to ensure evidence is preserved at the scene, and railroad experts are contacted to help investigate the incident. Timing is crucial so that you do not miss any legal deadlines.
4. What if someone dies as a result of a train accident? Who can claim damages?
Surviving relatives of train accident victims may be able to bring a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one. Please click here
for more information.
5. How do I handle railroad companies or their insurance carriers after a train accident?
Do not attempt to negotiate directly with railroad companies, their insurance carriers or their representatives on your own. They may claim to be looking out for your best interest, but they’re only looking out for their bottom line. Some railroad companies are quite aggressive with these tactics. We recommend that you contact a professional train accident attorney at Demas Law Group as soon as possible after your accident.
6. Where can I obtain more information about filing a personal injury claim for a train accident?
You may either call us at 916-444-0100 or visit the General FAQs section of our website for more answers to the following questions:
- How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a train accident?
- What can I get compensated for after a train accident?
- What is my train accident case worth?
- What will it cost me to hire a Demas Law Group personal injury attorney?
For more information on train accident statistics and safety issues, you may visit the website below:
The Federal Railroad Administration’s database on railroad safety: